Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Reel People: Naomi Watts is Valerie Plame Wilson

The film is Fair Game, directed by Doug Liman and adapted from Valerie Plame Wilson's memoir Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government.

Valerie Plame Wilson

Valerie Plame was born in Alaska at Elmendorf Air Force Base April 19, 1963. Her father as a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force, and there family eventually ended up in Pennsylvania where Valerie not only graduated from high school, but also attended Pennsylvania State University in 1985 with a BA in advertising.

Plame was interested in joining the CIA, as was her boyfriend and husband Todd Sesler. Plame's marriage to Todd Sesler was short, and it is believed that Plame's interest in the CIA exceeded that of her husband.

After joining the CIA she studied in Europe where among earning two master's degrees by 1991, she was also speaking French, German and Greek.

Plame as undercover in the CIA using her real name worked in a counter-proliferation role, in Athens and then in Brussels at the front company Brewster Jennings & Associates.

In 1997, her role was being shifted to working at Langley in Virginia. During this time she met former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, and because she couldn't reveal her identity to her husband early on and instead claimed to be energy trader based out of Brussels, Belgium. He was separated from his wife of 12 years, a French diplomat, and they began dating.

Plame did reveal her secret identity to Wilson and they got married to one another in 1998.

Wilson and Plame had twins, Trevor and Samantha in 2000. (Wilson had twins in his first marriage in 1975 as well).

Plame's work continued after giving birth traveling across Europe in a variety of top secret capacities, included managing spies and working to keep Iran and Iraq from getting nuclear weapons.

On July 14, 2003, Robert Novak named Valerie Plame in a column "Mission to Niger." This article effectively ended her career with the CIA.

It is believed that this information was provided to Novak as retribution for opinion articles that Joseph Wilson had written for the New York Times that claimed that George Bush misinterpreted information that led to the invasion of Iraq.

This became a giant investigation into the leak that led to Dick Chenney's chief of staff I. Lewis Libby, Dick Chenney's Chief of Staff which was taken to the court in United States v. Libby. The was convicted, but Bush commuted his sentence eliminating the jail time associated with his charge.

The Wilson's also filed a civil suit in 2007 against Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Richard Armitage and Libby. This case was dismissed despite appeals. But was further discussed by the House Oversite Committee, that confirmed that sharing this classified information of her identity with the CIA was prohibited.

After Plame's identity was revealed, Valerie, Joseph and their two children moved to Palisades in Washington D.C.

Fair Game

Much has been written and discussed about this situation, and of course, the intrigue associated with CIA operations always makes these stories interesting but complicated at the same time. All the same, Valerie's memoir serves as a good tool for story telling although there has been efforts and lawsuits to block certain information into the story.

This film stars Naomi Watts as Valerie and Sean Penn as her husband Joseph Wilson.

Will Naomi Watt's portrayal of this exposed member of the CIA earn her critical attention and even an Oscar nomination/win for portraying this Real (Reel) Person?


steandric said...

I'm sure she will.

Jacob said...

Is this movie already out or coming out soon?

RC said...

@ jacob...i don't think there is a release date yet, so far I think they're still doing some audience screenings, but nothing has been announced.

Anonymous said...

I think this movie sounds really interesting. I always enjoy CIA/spy stories :-)